May 13, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) makes a catch against the Atlanta Braves at Busch Stadium. The Braves defeated the Cardinals, 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
After today's starting lineup was announced with Skip Schumaker in center field, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that starting center fielder Jon Jay would be heading to the disabled list due to continued pain from the shoulder he separated during a collision with the Busch Stadium outfield wall last month. The club recalled outfielder Shane Robinson from Memphis just a few days after demoting the right-handed hitter to make room for Lance Berkman after the veteran's activation from the disabled list.
Jay collided awkwardly with the center field wall while tracking an eventual home run against the Reds on April 19. X-rays performed soon after the collision "showed no structural damage," according to an article by Jenifer Langosch of stlcardinals.com. Jay was listed as day-to-day by the club and held out of action save a pinch-running appearance on April 21 against Pittsburgh. The pain in Jay's shoulder persisted and ultimately resulted in an MRI being prescribed. The MRI showed "no damage inside the right shoulder" and the diagnosis was reported alternatively as a "sprain" and a "middle separation."
Jay received a cortisone shot in his shoulder and returned to everyday duty on April 27 against Milwaukee. Looking rather healthy in his return, Jay tallied three hits in each of his first two games back and twelve over his first five games following the injection. It was after his three-hit game against the Pirates on May 2 that Jay's seasonal slash line peaked at .429/.471/.556. Since that game, it has dropped considerably.
From May 3 through May 14, Jay has managed only a .241/.283/.262 line. Such hot and cold spells are not uncommon for the BABIP-dependent Jay and so the nagging injury was not readily apparent to fans. On May 2, Jay's seasonal BABIP sat at an unsustainable .439. From May 3 through 14, it was .257, and now sits at .370 for the season. Jay's 2012 slash states are .343/.395/.438 as he hits the disabled list today.
It seems that the soreness in his shoulder has not gone away and, after being more aggressive with Jay last month, have opted to pursue the more conservative path of the disabled list with him this time around. As of now, there is little to report on any new testing that gave rise to the decision to place Jay on the DL.
Robinson rejoins the club after filling in admirably as a backup during the extended absences of Schumaker, Allen Craig, and Berkman. In 48 2012 PAs, he has managed a line of .311/.354/.422 on the shaky foundation of a .394 BABIP. Having only hit over .300 over an extended stay at a level once in his professional career, Robinson is unlikely to maintain his current production. But, he is a good defensive center fielder, which is something the Cardinals lack with Jay out.